Manuscript Resources on The Civil War

This guide describes collections documenting the Civil War in the Lower Mississippi Valley, including the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Texas, in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections (LLMVC) at LSU. The guide includes not only materials from the war years (1861-1865) themselves, but also materials from later periods containing manuscript sources for Civil War history. Thus such sources as post-war reminiscences and records of veterans' groups--materials dealing with the war as memory and experience--will be found alongside soldiers' and civilians' letters, diaries, and daybooks from the war itself. In addition, the guide includes collections of papers of Louisiana and other area soldiers who fought outside of the Lower Mississippi Valley.

LSU's holdings of Civil War manuscripts make LLMVC a rich treasure-trove for researchers. Many researchers are studying these documents from new perspectives, to see what they have to tell us about women's experiences on the home front and about Louisiana's African Americans, a significant number of whom fought for the Union. Louisiana played a central role in the war, with the fall of Port Hudson in July 1863 a critical event. Much of the state was long occupied by Union forces, and LLMVC contains the papers of numerous Union as well as Confederate soldiers. Other areas of strength include materials documenting the siege of Vicksburg, the Battle of Shiloh, and the Red River campaign.

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Anonymous Civil War letter, 1863 June 19. 1 item. Location: Misc.:A. Union army soldier. Letter discussing the Union siege at Vicksburg, Mississippi, trench visits from Confederate soldiers, artillery techniques, and camp life. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3245.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Anonymous Civil War letter, 1863. 1 item. Location: Misc.:A Letter from a teacher in North Carolina to his parents in Richmond, Virginia, telling of his work as a mechanic in order to avoid the Confederate conscript law. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1452.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Education

Anonymous Civil War letters, 1863. 2 items. Location: Misc.:A Letters from a Union soldier to his brother, from Camp Banks in Baton Rouge, discussing family news, soldier friends, illness caused by drinking Mississippi River water, scarcity of supplies and money, property destruction, and not attacking Port Hudson. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3271.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

Anonymous Confederate civilian letters, 1863 August 27 and 29. 2 items. Location: Misc.:A Pages from a letter-diary of a plantation owner, possibly the wife of a Confederate soldier, recording daily activities, local news, plantation work, and slave health. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2997.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, Civil War, African Americans

Anonymous Union soldier letter, 1863 February 19.1 item. Location: Misc.:A. Letter from camp near Belle Plain, Army of the Potomac, under General Joseph Hooker, pertaining to camp life, discouragement among the troops, opposition to the Emancipation Proclamation, and rumors of a conscription law. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2897.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Anonymous soldier letter, 1863 September 24. 1 item. Location: Misc.:A. A letter written by a Union soldier in Louisiana during the Civil War describes his unit's march from New Orleans, La., to the Bayou Teche country. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2588.

Anonymous letter, [1863] October 4. 1 item. Location: Misc.:A. Letter from a Southern woman who had lived in New York City prior to the Civil War compares the changes that have been made during the Civil War and in particular mentions sermons of abolitionist Dr. Henry Whitney Bellows. She also describes the problems encountered in passing through Fortress Monroe under a flag of truce. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2121.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War, African Americans

Anonymous letter, 1863 August 11. 1 item. Location: Misc.:A. Letter from a young woman residing near Campbell County Court House, Virginia, reporting that a cousin, Robert Andrews, had distinguished himself at Winchester and had been wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2121.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War

Anonymous letter, 1864. 1 item. Location: Misc. Letter from Sarah, apparently a young girl and resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, written upon her return from a trip to New York City, commenting on a minstrel show in New Orleans, Louisiana, and expressing interest in the New York presidential election returns. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1418.

Anonymous letters, 1864-1865. 2 items. Location: Misc:A. Letters from a Louisiana Confederate soldier in the Civil War wintering at New Dalton, Georgia, to his sister, relating personal news and from Natchez describing his reception upon returning from the service and his adjustment to civilian life. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 1. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1032.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Natchez, Mississippi

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